NUFA Media Release, August 21, 2019 – Nipissing University Administration Stalling in Negotiations with Faculty
The Employer’s negotiating team at Nipissing University have effectively brought negotiations with the Faculty Association to a standstill until mid-September.
“We are disappointed and concerned by this move by our Employer,” says Dr. Nathan Kozuskanich, President of the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA). NUFA says that the Employer tabled a punishing package which, in calling for increased reliance on insecure contract faculty and in reducing the commitment to research time, will significantly affect students’ classroom experience as well as their opportunities. This will potentially have the long-term consequence of making them less competitive at graduation.
Dr. Kozuskanich says that these demands by the Employer take Nipissing University backwards, not forwards. “They will only have negative effects for student experience and quality of education at Nipissing. We are a small university with an outstanding faculty, who offer students a first-class experience of higher education, which creates meaningful opportunities for them. Nipissing has a fantastic employment rate post graduation. This is thanks in no small measure to the faculty. So why does our Employer want to punish one of its major assets, which will ultimately hurt students?”
The main aim of the Full-time Academic Staff Bargaining Unit (FASBU) of NUFA has been to make gains in pensions by moving from the current single Employer defined contribution plan to a jointly sponsored plan, a change that would represent a negligible increase in the university’s budget.
“For virtually no additional cost to the university, our members could have the capacity to retire with some measure of financial security. Currently, senior faculty are compelled by the inadequacy of their retirement benefits to work past age 65,” says Dr. Kozuskanich.
The bargaining unit representing contract faculty at Nipissing (CASBU) has also been without a contract since the end of April, but the Employer has refused to negotiate with them. “We are concerned that this refusal to meet with contract faculty is part of a larger trend towards insecure jobs for faculty. NUFA is fighting to keep good jobs in North Bay and to ensure that students continue to receive a top-quality, personal education at Nipissing,” says Dr. Kozuskanich.
Nipissing University has filed with the Ministry of Labour to send in a conciliator. During conciliation, either side may call for a “no-board report” which allows for legal labour action by either side after a 17-day waiting period.